Slain Texas doctor's family knew about problems

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Associated Press

Posted on July 18, 2012 at 6:02 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 18 at 6:04 PM

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — News of the arrest of a doctor police say hired someone to kill a pathologist dating his ex-girlfriend came while the West Texas physician's family was bidding him farewell.

Sons of Dr. Joseph Sonnier III wrote in an email to The Associated Press on Wednesday that relatives and friends were in Louisiana for his funeral when they learned a plastic surgeon from Amarillo and the man he's accused of hiring had been arrested.

Dr. Thomas Michael Dixon and business associate David Neal Shepard both remained jailed Wednesday.

Family members who spoke with Sonnier in recent weeks knew an ex-boyfriend of Sonnier's girlfriend was giving them problems. Sonnier's sons say their focus now is to pursue justice.

The 57-year-old Sonnier was found shot and stabbed July 11 inside his Lubbock home.

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